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The Penalty

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The Penalty

Published 1920

Lon Chaney plays Blizzard, a deranged psychopath scarred by the childhood operation where a young doctor mistakingly amputated both of his legs. Hellbent on revenge Blizzard becomes a master criminal. This is one of Lon Chaney's most famous non-horror roles.

This is copied from video mastered off a well worn home movie print.

Run time 91 minutes 10 seconds
Producer Wallace Worsley
Production Company Samuel Goldwyn
Audio/Visual silent, B/W
Contact Information <a href=>The Video Cellar</a>


Reviewer: Adam R - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 12, 2015
Subject: Superb Melodrama
One of the highlights of Chaney's screen career, this sharp little drama sees him as a vengeful mobster, bitter after the amputation of his legs as a child, who takes a terrible revenge on the doctor responsible...

If you want to know more about this film, Chaney, or the Universal horror cycle of movies, you can download the seven hour 'A Universe Of Horrors' podcast documentary for free at
Reviewer: sciwriter - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2010
Subject: masterpeice
Eliminates Cheney's Phantom stereotype.
Reviewer: mikelangworthy - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - December 13, 2010
Subject: maineatticus
I think he meant, "in the movie"
Reviewer: maineatticus - - November 4, 2010
Subject: Just to set the record straight....
Lon Cheney never had his arms amputated. In the movie, "The Unknown", a man, Peter Dismuki, who was born with no arms, doubled for Lon Cheney in some of the shots....smoking and playing the fiddle for instance.
Reviewer: bearpuf - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 13, 2010
Subject: Once Seen Not to Be Forgotten
Lon Chaney deserves the accolades for his amazing performances. This is one of them in terms of both his maniacal facials as well as the 'stumps' he fabricated for himself. I was told that he had bound his lower legs tight with straps against his thighs to create the amputated effect and that he endured such great pain during the performance that he could only wear the leg restraints for 10 minutes at a time.
Speaking of 'The Unknown', it can be seen at , in its entirety, though in chapters.
Reviewer: Tyler J. Anderson - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - October 4, 2010
Subject: The Unknown
No it is unfortunately still under copyright.
Reviewer: Freddie Jaye - - October 4, 2010
Subject: "The Unknown"
The above-named film--in which Chaney deliberately has his arms amputated after working as an armless knife-thrower in a carnival (it's complicated--could be an interesting bookend to "The Penalty".

Does anyone know: is "The Unknown" PD?
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